Tit for tat

Today we have a second leak from the Bakker commission, the working party set up by social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner to look at ways of getting more people into the workforce.

This time round, according to ‘well-informed sources’, the plan is to phase in an increase in the official pension age from 65 to 67. Quite what this has to do with getting more long-term unemployed people into work is not exactly clear at the moment, but doubtless all will be explained when the commission publishes its final report in two weeks time.
It is also surely just a coincidence that the pension suggestion has a number of similarities to a recent report by Donner himself, who suggests paying people higher pensions if they work past the age of 65.
The workforce commission is lead by Pieter Bakker, CEO of post group TNT, which is facing its own problems over unemployment, as its market dominance comes under siege from budget postal companies.
Unlike TNT, they treat their delivery staff as freelancers and don’t pay pension or holiday contributions. TNT would like to follow suit and has threatened mass redundancies unless the unions agree.
Still, now that the government has decided not to open up the last bit of the letter market to competition, the pressure on TNT has been eased somewhat. Bakker must be very grateful.

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